Agendas and Minutes

Housing Commission (View All)

Regular Meeting

Monday, August 15, 2005



AUGUST 15, 2005



Chair Matt Small called the meeting to order at 6:40 pm. at the Community Development and Engineering Services Building located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland, OR  97520.


                              Commissioners Present:   Matt Small, Chair

                                                                           Alice Hardesty

                                                                           Liz Peck

                                                                           Faye Weisler

                                                                           Bill Street

                                                                           Carol Voisin

                                                                           Don Mackin

                                                                           Jennifer Henderson (new member)

                              Council Liaison:                 Cate Hartzell (arrived at 6:45 p.m.)

                              Staff Present:                      Brandon Goldman, Housing Specialist

                                                                           Sue Yates, Executive Secretary


Small introduced Jennifer Henderson who replaces Kim Miller.  Small asked that it be noted in the minutes how much Kim Miller and Amy Korth’s (left the Commission a couple of months ago) efforts were appreciated by the Commission.    



Mackin/Voisin m/s to approve the minutes of the July 18, 2005 meeting.  Voice Vote:  Everyone approved.


Weisler/Voisin m/s to approve the minutes of the July 23, 2005 meeting.  Voice Vote:  Everyone approved.



HULZ spoke regarding Dapper Dell’s, the solar learning center, an idea he has for high- end homeless people.  He is still working on it.  He said it really works.   



New and Miscellaneous Commissioner Discussion Items Not on the Agenda

Small recalled that each subcommittee was going to look at their priorities one last time and report to the Commission at this meeting those priorities along with a timeline for getting the work done.  He thought vulnerable properties should be part of the Land Use subcommittee.  Henderson expressed an interest in working on the Land Use subcommittee and perhaps Finance.  Hartzell asked to be involved in the Land Use subcommittee for at least a couple of meetings.  She asked Goldman to update the matrix and add it to next month’s agenda.


The Commissioners discussed the Action Items mentioned on Page 4 of the June 23, 2005 study session and what subcommittee would be involved with each item. 

·        Creating a list of vulnerable properties.  (Land Use)

  • Inform the Downtown Plan Committee that public lots should be available for work force housing.  (Education)

·        Review information regarding density bonuses and condominium conversions   for affordable housing provisions.  (Land Use)

·        Have a conference call with Fannie Mae regarding employer assisted housing. (Education)

·        Have a conference call with HUD regarding section 108 loan program.  (discuss at this meeting)

·        Request that other public bodies establish a liaison to the Housing Commission.  (Education)

Goldman was going to draft a letter to Parks, School Board, Planning Commission, Conservation Commission and SOU.    

·        Housing Commission members to be liaisons to public bodies.

Parks - Street/Schools - Hardesty/ Planning Commission – Mackin, Peck, Henderson

·        Draft letter for Housing Commission to send to ICCA regarding future use of 144 Second Street.  Agenda item for tonight.

·        Determine legality of restricting housing to families only.  Goldman found out you can restrict housing to families.  People with children are a protected class.


The Education Committee drafted Voisin to be chair and she recommended that the other committees do the same. 


April is supposed to be the month we elect officers. Henderson moved to retain Small as Chair and Weisler as Vice Chair until April.  The motion died for lack of a second.   It was agreed this item will be discussed at the September meeting.


Diana Goodwin-Shavey, former Housing Commissioner, will be in town on August 19th and offered to make herself available to spend some time answering questions of Housing Commissioners.  Goldman will e-mail her and find out exact times and let the Commissioners know.


Goldman will get an updated copy of the HUD housing in Ashland.


The Commission agreed that committees should consider asking for community volunteers to help them.  Hartzell suggested, if it is approved by Legal, that a committee could establish an advisory group, especially Finance.



Interfaith Care Community of Ashland update

Goldman said Sharon Schreiber, Director of ICCA, indicated the property on Second Street is for sale.  Any sale is contingent upon ICCA finding another location in Ashland to purchase and operate services.  Their goal is to continue operations in Ashland and not pull the equity out of Ashland.  They are looking for a site out of a residential area.  Goldman said he will draft a letter to ICCA complimenting them on their desire to stay in Ashland and encouraging them to continue their services here.


Discussion on recommendation to Council regarding additional Housing Staff

Gino Grimaldi, City Administrator, is willing to speak to the Housing Commission on September 19th.  Goldman will itemize his responsibilities, prioritizing by percentage of time spent on each task.  Small asked Hartzell to be prepared to talk to Grimaldi at the next meeting.  She agreed.



SDC Deferral Program Changes

Goldman said since this was last presented, he has contacted non-profit and for-profit housing developers for their input into the proposed changes to the SDC program.  He received a letter from ACCESS, Inc., outlining their concerns.  The proposed changes are suggestions to clarify the SDC program as it relates to other sections of our code, namely the zoning ordinance and the annexation ordinance that establish that units have to sell between 60 and 120 percent of median income or rent to those qualified households.  There is nothing in the SDC program that establishes what an affordable purchase price is for the different income levels.  As a result there is a potential that someone can create a unit that meets the zoning requirement and targeted to someone at 60 percent of median income.  The concern is that they may not be able to afford it if they have purchased it at the current maximum purchase price.  (Refer to Goldman’s memo of May 25, 2005 and his chart of examples.)  The table establishes how much a monthly payment will be.  The rationale behind it is not to establish a maximum purchase price but rather say a household cannot spend more than 30 percent of their income and if they get a better interest rate they can then afford a higher dollar value for the home.  If their interest rate is lower, the house would have to have a lower selling price.  In other words, it shifts the focus from the current SDC program from a maximum purchase price to maximum monthly mortgage.  Whenever a unit transfers, it would be held to this program.  However, a provision could be added to protect the first time buyer to establish the resale amount so it cannot be less than their original purchase price. 


The letter from ACCESS has asked what would happen in the case of a hardship.  Goldman said in the event of a transfer, if it is a qualified transfer, an owner would not have to pay the penalties.  The penalties would only kick in if an owner wanted to get out of the program by paying SDC’s to sell the home at market rate. 


There are less than a half dozen homes that fall under the SDC deferral program each year.  These are now deed restricted. 


Goldman said the program could be a voluntary “in” but with no voluntary “out”.  That would keep a unit affordable for 30 years.  It would be Staff’s recommendation that units will remain affordable for a 30 year period and that the developer would be exempt from paying the Community Development and Engineering Services Fee.


Weisler said in the hardship cases, would there be an entity that could buy it and hold it in affordability for the short term?  She would like the City to have the right of first refusal.  Henderson said there is a model in ACLT.


Is the Commission favorable toward a minimum period of affordability or a voluntary in/voluntary out?  Does the Commission wish to have the purchase price correlated to income (30 percent for a mortgage) or a maximum?  Should utilities be included?  For simplicity, it would be better to do things that can be traced over time.



MELANIE MINDLIN, Fordyce Co-Housing, strongly supports going to a case by case basis for SDC deferral.  She would encourage them to go to 35 percent to encourage buyers to put together their best package and she would like it tied to percentage of income.  She would not prefer to have a term of affordability and have as little overlay as possible.  All it does is get in the way of what the non-profits are doing.  She has a pet peeve about limiting equity on those creating affordable housing and buying affordable housing.


SHELLEY AUSTIN, ACLT, agreed with most of what Cyndi Dyer of ACCESS said in her letter.  With regard to the period of affordability, if there is any deferral program that has a disincentive for getting out of the program, anything less than 30 years, there should be a $10,000 penalty.  We’ve seen in Ashland so many times where the SDC’s have been paid off and the units fall out of the program.


Goldman said he’d come back with answers to questions and a draft resolution.  Hartzell asked Goldman to craft some optional language in the resolution for the points that have been brought up. 



Liaison Reports

Parks – Street spoke with Mike Gardiner, Parks Commission Chair.  They’ve met twice with the School Board and City Council.  They will be meeting again on September 8th at the Council Chambers at 7:00 p.m. and affordable housing is at the top of the list.  However, Gardiner doesn’t see that Parks will be very involved affordable housing solution.  Street will talk with the other commissioners to try to persuade Gardiner to shift a little bit. 


Schools – Hardesty met with Ruth Alexander, School Board member and she is very interested.  Hardesty has met with Amy Patton.  They are just talking at this point about how they can work together.  Alexander is interested in coming to one of the Housing Commission’s meetings.  They talked about the idea of little working groups that could be made of up of two to three Housing Commission members as well as informal discussion with the School Board members that would include Juli DeChiro, Superintendent of Schools. 


Planning – Mackin said he and Peck attended the Planning Commission meeting to talk about condominium conversions.  It will be coming back to a Planning Commission study session, maybe on July 23, 2005, 7:00 p.m. at the Council Chambers.


Conservation – Weisler asked them if they could support energy conversation for affordable housing.  There is a possibility of dedicating the sale of green tags for solar panels for affordable housing.  They would have to go to the Council for approval.  At the end of the year, dedication of the proceeds will be decided.  They might also consider applying for a grant from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. 


Education – Voisin reported they have a call to Fannie Mae on how to best devise a survey to take to employers.  They will establish a time when a Fannie Mae representative can be a part of an employer assisted housing workshop (probably November) and the outcomes they are looking for.  Future meetings are August 29 at 5:15 p.m. and September 12, 5:15 p.m.


Next Quarterly Study Session

There are two October dates – the 15th or the 22nd for a meeting with Darcy Strahan from the State.  Goldman will target the 22nd and let Strahan know soon.  The meeting time will be 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The Commission will have Strahan for about 1 ½ hours.



The Council heard the proposals on August 3rd.  They’ve set a Special Meeting for August 30th at 7:00 p.m. for this item alone.  Goldman is expecting a decision at that meeting.  Hardesty will be there and she encouraged others to attend the meeting and come prepared.  Staff will have a separate recommendation from that of the Housing Commission.


Goldman said Kendrick submitted a Performa showing what their project is built on.  He will check with Legal to see if it admissible.  Hardesty, Mackin and Street volunteered to go to the Council meeting.



Discussion of whether or not to vote for a new Chair and Vice Chair.







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